Eight years have gone by and I’m still dogged by the same feelings of failure every day. Now, I don’t see myself as a victim. Life hasn’t dealt me a bad hand, done me wrong, or anything like that. I constantly sabotage myself. Every day I wake up and tell myself that it will be different, and that today will be the start of a different way of thinking, doing, being in the world. I promise myself each day that I’m going to be focused, productive, organized, fit, and happy. Instead, I find that I have a difficult time concentrating on much of anything, I waste time doing mindless tasks, I’m buried in piles of papers and things I’m desperate to either sort or just plain throw out. Oh, and I’ve gained 30 pounds, making me the heaviest weight I’ve been at any point in my life aside from my pregnancy.
Even now, I have so many feelings and thoughts coursing through my head that I find it truly challenging to separate them out. Where do I start? I’ve tried making lists. I pray. I exercise (OK, sometimes). I can’t seem to get myself grounded or organized. I feel…untethered, adrift. It feels as if my greatest fear is coming to fruition, that when I left acting full time, I would lose my sense of who I was, of who I am. I have this desperate sense that I need to do something, but I just don’t know what it is. Of course, part of that is being the best mommy I can be to my girls, but I do feel that a large part of that role includes modeling a happy, productive, purposeful life. And part of it, quite honestly, is that I’m not solely a mother. I am me, without the roles, without the labels. How am I just me in my own skin? How do I teach two little girls how to be secure in their own emerging hearts, minds, and bodies, when I can’t seem to get a handle on my own?
So getting back to my original question about the self-sabotage- in my search for the key to success, I layer new and interesting things to do onto my daily/ weekly/ short-term/ long-term plan. I feel like I’m chasing some moving target without having a real handle on what that particular target exactly is. Instead of defining the goal then actuating a plan to achieve it, I reverse the whole set up. I just keep adding “interesting” things, blindly trusting that it all will lead me, eventually, where I need to go. Like right now, I’m working part-time, I’m doing a show, I am leading a Girl Scout troop, I am the primary caretaker of the house and the kids, I volunteered to teach religious ed, and just because I have nothing else to do, clearly, I’m the chair of a committee at my kiddos’ elementary school. Because, why the hell not? Now, I expect to be the best at all of this, but in weighing myself down with so many things, I know that I set myself up to fail and to disappoint myself. I go around believing that my talents will show themselves if I do enough stuff; throw enough crap at the wall and something is bound to stick.
This strategy isn’t working. I’ve known it has not been working for 8 years. I know something is inside me; I’ve lost sight of what that might be. I’m terrified I might never discover the essence of who I am.